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My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan

(Justin Goldblatt #1)

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  484 ratings  ·  107 reviews
Justin has two goals for sophomore year: to date Chuck, the hottest boy in school, and to become the king of Cool U, the table in the cafeteria where the "in" crowd sits.

Unfortunately, he has the wrong look (short, plump, Brillo-pad curls), he has the wrong interests (Broadway, chorus violin), and he has the wrong friends (Spencer, into Eastern religions, and Mary Ann,  w
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Originally posted on The Book Smugglers

Justin Goldblatt has had enough of being the unpopular fat kid at school. He is fed up with being bullied, tired of his circle of friends and so he decides to start anew and become the New Justin. His goals are to become popular by mingling with the in-crowd and to date Chuck, the hottest guy in school. Does he care that Chuck is straight? No. Does he care that he doesn’t actually knowhow he is going to achieve these? NO! For Justin is a blindly optimistic
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible, ya
I listened to this on Audible and found it charming, amusing and uplifting in a goofy sort of way. Seth Rudetsky wrote and reads the role of Justin Goldblatt, a gay sophomore, who has a crush on the star quarterback of his school; the good looking, straight, Chuck. I think Seth did a perfect job of narrating the character. His best friend, Spencer, is narrated by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, of Modern Family. He does a nice job as well. If that wasn't enough, Ana Gasteyer from SNL fame and Josh Gad fro ...more
Apr 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really appreciate that Seth Rudetsky wanted to contribute to the growing list of GLBTQ books for teens, and I really appreciated his very sincere note at the end of the book (these are reasons I gave the book two stars, instead of one), but this book was as bad as the title: "My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan." I picked it up because it promised humor, and finding more humorous books to recommend to my students is one of my goals for the summer. Unfortunately, I groaned in pain more than I laug ...more
Jun 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Richard by: Jeff Linamen
When I got to the end of the third chapter, I realized I had read this short, amusing teen novel once before, probably soon after its release. I enjoyed revisiting this coming out tale told from Mr. Rudetsky's comic viewpoint. It is a clever story of friendships and the wisdom of showing your true self to the world. ...more
Justin Goldblatt, a chubby, afro sporting, Jewish closeted High school sophomore has an awesome popularity plan: to get the trust of COOL U (aka the Prep/Jock table) to get close to the hunky football quarterback, Chuck.
To do so, he ends up serving as the fake boyfriend to Chuck's girlfriend, Becky (whose father disapproves of Chuck). His newfound popularity gets the school bully of his back, so that part of the plan works.
However, when the plan goes terribly awry with the inner monologues of
Tom Heeren
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Uplifting young adult novel which shows many human flaws among many characters: Justin, Spencer, Becky and Chuck. They all represents the 21st century youth but we feel the same as Justin when we were in high school or university back in the 1980s.

Justin, a gay sophomore at an unidentified Connecticut high school, jumped too fast in chasing his crush, Chuck in order to be his boyfriend while missing his TRUE main love interest, Spencer. Becky was trying to overcome her father's putting her down
Dec 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This earned a third star because I listened to the Audible version, with its full cast presentation. Seth's voice (which I'm very familiar with from his Sirius XM shows) makes Justin feel real, because as he say says in his closing note, the main character is based on Seth's high school self. Unfortunately, the plot is not based on Seth's life and suffers because of it's being "completely made up," apparently from every gayboy novel/movie of the last 30 years. As others have noted, the plot and ...more
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really like Seth Rudestky's deconstruction videos; his concerts with divas; and I liked his other (adult) novel. This one however fell flat. Justin is just not a likeable person and thus it wasn't a pleasant read. Part of the problem is that a modern day LGBTQ high school student is just different than one in the late 80s/early 90s. So a Broadway obsessed queen in the closet, stringing along a straight girl, perusing an asshole straight guy in the mid-2000s comes off like an asshole vs. confus ...more
Wendell Barnes
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Short and sweet YA book by a favorite celebrity, Seth Rudetsky, who I listen to nearly every day on XM Radio “On Broadway.” Justin is a great character, like Seth himself. Funny and insightful and there are probably some good lessons to he learned here from struggling teens. My teen years are now more than 50 years ago but I enjoy Seth’s humor and artistry and remain even more of a big fan after reading this first novel!
Mar 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Funny, frantic Justin wants to be popular for all the wrong reasons. After lying his way to the Cool U lunch table, he almost loses his true friends. Through a series of events, this witty tale makes one want to shake some sense into narrator Justin's frizzy-haired gay head. But he does learn how to accept himself in the end; a great read for YA fans. ...more
Mar 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
A chubby gay kids wants to make the most popular jock in school his boyfriend even though he knows the jock is straight? Is this really humor? Is this really the best message we have to offer our LGBTQ youth?
Sep 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Nice quick read. Full of Broadway references. Plot line was very predictable. Interesting to see that this is a series. I was also intrigued to see the accomplishments of the writer! Seems like he'd be a cool guy to have a chat with. ...more
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a very funny book, that actually made me laugh out loud at times. While it is not a steamy book, it makes for it in laughs.
Jen Ifer's Inklings
3.5 stars. It was cute and had a good moral/wrap up to it. It was kind of predictable and I felt like it was very junior high-ish. Justin kinda of bugged me, but I really adored Spencer.
Sarah Marie
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book must be experienced in audiobook form
Found it really good
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun adolescent/young adult read
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Fun and fat-paced, but boy was Justin kind of awful (or maybe just dense?).
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is so cool😘
May 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have a total talent crush on Seth Rudetsky. I've seen him be hilarious on that Legally Blonde talent search show, I've read his columns for, and I've heard him on Sirius XM on Broadway. He's so funny and so knowledgeable about music and Broadway. However I wasn't sure if he could write a novel with characters I would care about-he's so good at that other stuff; could he be good at this too?

Well, I am happy to say that I found this book immensely satisfying with a likable MC a
The main character and narrator, Justin, is portrayed as the lovable yet totally clueless underdog of the high school hierarchy. The guy that would unfortunately never fit in socially at the top, but whose goal is to be popular. Justin’s superficial-ness is balanced out by his all knowing best friend Spencer, who is also gay and the only person Justin has ever come out to. Becky is the ever so sweet girl who is unfortunately in the way, being girlfriend to Justin’s desire Chuck. Chuck
Kiara Ramirez
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Teens
I've been reading this book for about two weeks so far, and I have to say this book is pretty cool to read during my free time and class. From what I read so far the main character Justin is basically not popular because of his choice of the people he surrounds himself with and because of his love for the male gender. Later in the story he basically comes up with a plan to become popular to others (mostly Chuck) he says:

A)start dating someone (please let it be Chuck)
B)have his first kiss
Book Twirps
Dec 28, 2011 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Justin isn't exactly what the kids at his school would consider cool. He's short and pudgy, loves Broadway shows and plays violin. His friends Spencer and Mary Ann are pretty out there and don't help his cool factor at all, but Justin is determined to make two things happen his sophomore year: Claim the spot as the king of the cool table in the cafeteria, and date Chuck, the hottest guy in school. The problem is, Chuck isn't gay. In fact, he dates Becky, one of Justin's friends from cho
Amy Lignor
Feb 26, 2012 rated it liked it
A great many readers will be reminded of a small movie called, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” as they read through this hysterical novel. Not only has the author combined a character that is fun and full of life, but he has also found a way to bring the gay community a ‘force’ to be reckoned with.

Justin Goldblatt is a nice fifteen-year-old boy who wants what everyone else wants - to find the love of his life, go out on a date, get kissed, and have a future. Of course, Justin has a bit of a problem because
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
I haven't read many LGTB books and admittedly this is my first that was devoted solely to the LGTB theme. My objections do not come from the content. Rudetsky kept it clean.

I got this book at a book convention and heard Rudetsky speak about the book, his writing process, etc. He strikes me as the stereotypical gay man. His book, he admits, has loose similarities between his life and the protagonist (Justin's) life. I was able to relate to Justin through all the stereotypical gay men in my life.
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Seth Rudetsky's humorous Young Adult novel. Awesome/Awful is fun, entertaining read; not a guide for surviving high school. Having spent nearly 15 years in the public school system, I've come to know these student 'types' pretty well. Not to say that all the characters are stereotypical, they each have their own unique qualities, strengths and weaknesses; that set them apart as individuals and make them interesting. Teen angst comes in many forms and Rudetsky does a great job of ...more
Apr 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Justin has two goals for sophomore year: to date Chuck, the hottest boy in school, and to become part of the in crowd. Unfortunately, there are a few obstacles in his way. First of all, Chuck isn't gay; he's dating Becky, one of the most popular girls in school. The outlook isn't that great for Justin's popularity, either. He has the wrong look (short and plump with a "Jew-fro") and the wrong interests (Broadway, violin, choir). His friends aren't exactly helping his social status, either: Spenc ...more
Stephanie (Stephs Stacks)
Oct 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-s
Full Review and More on Steph's Stacks

My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan is a fun, frothy, frolic that reminded me of some of my favorite “chick-lit” books. Justin finds himself in embarrassing/funny/awkward situations ala Becky Bloomwood and Bridget Jones. You can see that our hero is making bad decisions that will only lead to trouble, but it’s so much fun to see how he’s going to get out of it.

I’ve been a fan of Rudetsky (better known for his Broadway resume) for years. He hosts a couple of my
Chris Halkovic
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it

My Awful Popularity Plan by Seth Rudetsky is about a troubled teenager who is a sophomore in high school. But, he has more difficult problems than a typical high school student. The book tells about a chubby Jewish boy named Justin Goldblatt. He is the antithesis of popular. Furthermore, he is homosexual which makes moving up on the social even more difficult. Justin’s ultimate goal of sophomore year is to become more popular, and he wants to date his fantasy boyfriend Chuck. Justin really wants
Christina Getrost
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is funny and sweet and adorable. Fifteen years old, short, fat and Jewish, gay sophomore Justin (not out of the closet to anyone other than his also gay best friend Spencer) is tired of being teased and on the bottom rung of the social ladder at school. He creates a plan to become popular and get his first kiss--hopefully with Chuck the beefy star football player, on whom he has a huge crush. When Justin kinda accidentally starts dating Becky, a popular girl who has just publicly broke ...more
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor, young-adult
To begin, I would like to clarify that I would give this book between 2 and 2.5 stars.

My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan is a young adult book written by Seth Rudetsky about the struggles of high school freshman Justin Goldblatt. When we meet Justin, he is unattractive, unpopular, and determined to turn these trends around by becoming popular and kissing, with the fantasy of dating, the school’s handsome, star quarterback. As he pursues these goals, Justin comes to realize their shallowness, brin
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Seth is the Broadway host, seven days a week, on Sirius Satellite Radio. As a pianist, Seth has played for more than a dozen Broadway shows including RAGTIME, LES MIZ and PHANTOM. He was the Artistic Producer/Music Director for the first five annual Actors Fund Fall Concerts including DREAMGIRLS with Audra MacDonald (recorded on Nonesuch Records) and HAIR with Jennifer Hudson (recorded on Ghostlig ...more

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